Own a Midcentury Gem by a Frank Lloyd Wright Disciple For $1.2M

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By Lucy Wang
Noted Chicago architect Dennis Blair declared this masterful, modernist Schell House his favorite residential work.

After working under Frank Lloyd Wright on the Guggenheim Museum in the 1940s, Dennis Blair spent decades designing dozens of elegant, modernist homes around the greater Chicago area. 

Yet, according to listing agent Lou Zucaro of Baird & Warner, the house that the late architect regarded as his magnum opus was completed fairly early on in his career—the 1959 Schell House.

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Set on a 2.6-acre lot adjacent to the Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve, the residence is set far back from the street for privacy.

Set on a 2.6-acre lot adjacent to the Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve, the residence is set far back from the street for privacy.

Located an hour outside Chicago near the historic village of Long Grove, Blair's pavilion-style stunner recently hit the market for $1,200,000.

The covered entrance walkway that leads to a oversized bronze door is bordered by a long granite wall on one side and open woodland on the other.

The covered entrance walkway that leads to a oversized bronze door is bordered by a long granite wall on one side and open woodland on the other.

Crafted to enhance the idyllic landscape of native prairie and ancient woodland, the four-bedroom, three-bath home is defined by massive walls of glass, split-face granite, and cedar. 

Blair was known for his use of granite stone walls, which are hollow in the center to provide a thermal break between the interior and exterior.

Blair was known for his use of granite stone walls, which are hollow in the center to provide a thermal break between the interior and exterior.

Cedar wraps around the home, from the ceilings to the walls, to impart warmth and to tie the building to the wooded landscape.

Cedar wraps around the home, from the ceilings to the walls, to impart warmth and to tie the building to the wooded landscape.

Further blurring the boundary between indoors and out are the cantilevered master suite and outdoor decks which, coupled with the overhanging flat roofs, make the low-slung residence appear to float above the landscape.

The residence mitigates the slope with split-level organization. The living room and media room (pictured here) are located a few steps down from the kitchen and dining area on the ground floor.

The residence mitigates the slope with split-level organization. The living room and media room (pictured here) are located a few steps down from the kitchen and dining area on the ground floor.

Branching off from the media room is the outdoor lounge, cantilevered over a split-face granite retaining wall.

Branching off from the media room is the outdoor lounge, cantilevered over a split-face granite retaining wall.

The midcentury home has also been sensitively updated. In 1999, the Schells invited Blair back to renovate the 3,874-square-foot home, a process that included rebuilding the roof with insulation, skylights, and recessed lighting, as well as swapping out single-pane glass for insulated glazing to optimize four-season enjoyment of the outdoors.

The cantilevered master suite boasts 270-degree views of the tree canopy.

The cantilevered master suite boasts 270-degree views of the tree canopy.

The spa-like master bath is bathed in natural light.

The spa-like master bath is bathed in natural light.

When the home was passed on to the current owners John and Dave, Blair also offered design assistance on other modern improvements to the home, most notably in the addition of the Jorge Pensi-designed Poggenpohl +MODO kitchen.

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Spanish designer/architect Jorge Pensi designed the new Poggenpohl +MODO kitchen, which features honed granite countertops and high-end, fully integrated appliances.

Spanish designer/architect Jorge Pensi designed the new Poggenpohl +MODO kitchen, which features honed granite countertops and high-end, fully integrated appliances.

A double fireplace separates the kitchen and dining space from the living area located on the split level below.

A double fireplace separates the kitchen and dining space from the living area located on the split level below.

"As somebody who has been in many modern homes, it’s no exaggeration when I say that this is one of the most spectacular I’ve spent time in," says listing agent Lou. "There are surprises and beauty everywhere."

Natural black clefted slate flooring continues from the entrance foyer to the open kitchen and dining area.

Natural black clefted slate flooring continues from the entrance foyer to the open kitchen and dining area.

The slate floors continue seamlessly to an outdoor dining and living area outside of the kitchen.

The slate floors continue seamlessly to an outdoor dining and living area outside of the kitchen.

Including the cantilevered master suite, the bedroom wing houses three of the four bedrooms. Here is one of the secondary bedrooms, which overlooks a courtyard.

Including the cantilevered master suite, the bedroom wing houses three of the four bedrooms. Here is one of the secondary bedrooms, which overlooks a courtyard.

The fourth bedroom and third full bathroom are located on the lowest level and serve as the guest suite.

The fourth bedroom and third full bathroom are located on the lowest level and serve as the guest suite.

The guest bath, as with all of the bathrooms in the home, have been updated by the current owners.

The guest bath, as with all of the bathrooms in the home, have been updated by the current owners.

A look at the living and dining spaces housed in the guest wing.

A look at the living and dining spaces housed in the guest wing.

3338 Prairie Wind Road, Long Grove, IL is now being listed by Lou Zucaro of Baird & Warner for $1,200,000. See the full listing here. 

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